Categorized |Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork

How to make the green seasoning paste that’s so unique to Caribbean cuisine.

The one key ingredient when it comes to cooking any meat or fish dish in the Caribbean, is the green seasoning mix that’s used in the marinating process. Before we go on I’d like to mention a couple things. This recipe usually calls for 2 key ingredients “shado beni” and “Spanish thyme” (aka podina), both of which I can’t get readily get here in Canada, unless I source out a Thai or Caribbean specialty store. For the “shado beni” I’ve substituted in cilantro, which is somewhat similar but less pungent and I’ve left out the Spanish thyme. If you’re based in the Caribbean or can get those 2 ingredients, please use with caution since they can easily overpower the green seasoning with it’s strong flavors. I also couldn’t get the pimento peppers, so I opted for 1 banana pepper, but you can also use a Cubanelle

There are several variations of this seasoning mix, but this is one that I’ve tested and perfected over the years.

You’ll need…

1 bundle of Cilantro (about 1-2 cups)
1 stalk of celery (include leaves if you have it)
1 head or garlic (about 11 cloves)
4 green onions (scallions)
1 bunch of fresh thyme (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup of water
pinch of salt (optional)
2-3 shallots (optional)
2 pimento peppers (1 banana pepper or 1 Cubanelle)

*Food processor or blender.

Peel, trim and wash the ingredients and let drain.


Then rough-cut into smaller pieces so it’s easier to manage and work in the blender or food processor.



Add all the ingredients into your food processor or as in my case,  a blender (I’m sure my wife is mad at me for showing you our prehistoric blender)… including the water. You may be required to move around or push down the ingredients occasionally so it all gets worked by the blades.


Personally I like to liquify my blend to the consistency of pesto or even a bit more liquid. However you have the choice at this point to make a bit more chunky-like if you wish.


After a few pulse actions you’ll find that everything blends together quite easily. Here’s a picture of the finished green seasoning :


Storage Tips!

From this batch I have a plastic container that I pour half into and keep in the fridge for everyday use, the other half I pour into a freezer zip lock bag and freeze until I get through the batch in the fridge. Since you probably won’t be using the seasoning as much as I do, I suggest you divide it into 3-4 portions, keeping 1 in the fridge (can last for 2-3 months) and freeze the rest.

You can also get a couple ice cube trays from the dollar store and fill each ice cube area 1/4 up with the seasoning mix and then freeze. Then when it’s frozen, you can dump the cubes into a freezer bag and place back in the freezer. Now whenever you’re cooking, all you have to do is grab a cube and use.

You’ll notice that after time the once brilliant green color will go darker, don;t be alarmed. That’s natural!

Happy cooking

Be sure to leave me your comments or suggestions.

Forgot to mention… this makes about 3 cups of green seasoning.

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264 Responses to “How to make the green seasoning paste that’s so unique to Caribbean cuisine.”

  1. Wendy Ann says:

    That part about freezing the seasoning in ice trays is a very good idea, I think it’s very convenient. I must try it.

  2. I usually make my own green seasoning. I tried yours but I didn’t have the shadow beni so I used cilantro. The cilantro was strong, so the next time I will use less but it did the job. Thank you.

  3. Deborah says:

    Chris, I Love, Love, Love this recipe. The first batch lasted a bit over 2 weeks. Needless to say, I doubled up the second batch. Ok, I did not eat it all, I shared with my friends who think I cook Brilliantly. Thanks Chris, I Owe You Bigtime.

  4. michael holt says:

    how do I receive your free book? do i need to give you my home address?

  5. Rhiannon says:

    I’m from London england I so want to do this but no sure where I can get some ingredients like pimento all I seem to find is pimento stuffed olives

  6. Richard says:


    I am still waiting for my copy of your book to arrive (should be any day) but I was reading this recipe and grinning at your comments about the lack of availability certain ingredients in Canada (I live in Nova Scotia six months a year)…. But its not Canada that is lacking. Years ago I used to have a summer house in the wilds of northeastern Pennsylvania. The markets there were, politely said, spare.

    One of my favorite writers of all time, Molly O’Neil, used to have a Sunday column in the New York Times magazine section. I had a great time taking her recipes and trying to find “substitutes” at the local markets. If you think Ontario is a challenge, you have NO idea.

  7. Pat says:

    This is the first time I have used this seasoning. It not only increase the flavour of the food but enhances the look of the food My mom used a cut down version when making curries of any kind.. Thank you for the recipe

  8. Jill says:

    Chris, This stuff is great. I put it in everything!

  9. Marisela says:

    All the ingredientes are fine but insted of water try using vinigar and so you can save in the refrigerator and use when you need. I do this all the time its my grandmothers recepie.

  10. Cindy Woodburn says:

    Can’t wait to make this, I know I had it on dishes when I was in the BVI. IF I can attain the shado beni, and the Spanish thyme, what amounts do I use to not as you say over power the paste? I have a food processor , but still prefer my old blender like yours.

  11. Jean Gordon says:

    Hi, Chris:
    Thank you for posting the Green Seasoning Paste. I will be sure to start using it for cooking, which I am sure will give all meats a wonderful taste! As for your “Blender”, tell your dear wife to be happy you still have one that has worked for so long, because in these days nothing lasts long! I have had 3 of the same kind! The first one (1974) was a second hand one, that one of the other teachers sold me at a garage sale because she was leaviing back home to the States. She had had it like for a lifetime! Then someone stole the glass off my porch (left by my daughter) and I bought another glass. The second one I had like for 20 odd years, and I ran it too long and burnt out the machine! Now I have had this one like 3 or 4 years! So it is good when you can still have things so long and they still work! Hooray! Thank you for your recipes!
    Yours truly,

  12. Lisa says:

    I from trinidad and the following is what we use to make our ” green seasoning”

    Shadow beni (bandania)

  13. Tony says:

    Growing up in the US Virgin Islands, and visiting Trinidad on several occasions I’ve come to enjoy West Indian food. Being part Hispanic, I’ve added a couple ingredients to your Trini Green Sauce. First of all we call it Sofrito. The two ingredients are 6 to 8 sweet peppers. These are small round green sometime yellow peppers. (No Heat) I also add a bunch of cilantro type leaf which is usually 3 to 4 inches long which we call Recao Try this variation and I guarantee you will like the aroma and flavor it will add to your cooking.

  14. Violet says:

    Chris I never thought I will see a blender like the best one that I own same brand same colour Harvest Gold or Wheat what ever. Remember when that and Avocado were the colours of choice for kitchen appliances . I bought mine in K mart in Menomonie Wisconsin in January 1983 brought it back with me to Trinidad when I returned and have used it continuously even though I have been gifted four new top of the line (supposedly) blenders over the years. They have been all returned to their boxes after first use in favour of old faithful which I clean properly after each use. The best small appliance investment I have ever made. So from one prehistoric blender user to another if it a’int broke don’t throw it out. I enjoy your recipes.

  15. Judy says:

    Hi Chris, do you put the stems from the thyme in the blender too, or pull off the leaves to make the sauce so smooth?


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